SBTRKT's music video follows a creature through urban distopia

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SBTRKT's animated music video follows a creature through urban dystopia

Music: a "spirit animal" slinks around after dark in director Fons Schiedon's music video for SBTRKT's track New Dorp. New York.

Fons Schiedon's music video for SBTRKT's track New Dorp. New York

New York-based Fons Schiedon's animated video was created for British musician SBTRKT's latest bass-heavy single, which features vocals by American singer Ezra Koenig.

Fons Schiedon's music video for SBTRKT's track New Dorp. New York

"SBTRKT is really into animation as a medium," Schiedon told Dezeen. "And I love his music, so our collaboration was quite a natural process."

Fons Schiedon's music video for SBTRKT's track New Dorp. New York

The video follows a creature that moves like a fox but has round ears on the side of its head, seen only as a silhouette during the first few scenes.

Fons Schiedon's music video for SBTRKT's track New Dorp. New York

"The video revolves around the SBTRKT spirit animal, which has an important part in the visuals for the current album and tour," said Schiedon. "He starts out as a somewhat marginal creature and not sure if he's being hunted or the hunter."

Fons Schiedon's music video for SBTRKT's track New Dorp. New York

The spirit animal emerges from a concrete tube and creeps through what appears to be a residential area, before it boards a large ship and finally reaches an urban setting.

"As he moves through the urban landscape he learns where he is in relation to his world," Schiedon said. "This process is visualised by his physical presence evolving, from small and jumpy to extremely large and dominant."

Fons Schiedon's music video for SBTRKT's track New Dorp. New York

Graphics remain dark and mysterious throughout, with glowing lighting effects used subtly so the outlines of objects can be picked out.

"The element of mystery and ambiguity is very important in both the character design and the visual direction at large," explained Schiedon.

Fons Schiedon's music video for SBTRKT's track New Dorp. New York

Crawling up stairs, over and through cars, the creature is sometimes shown as a giant shadow projected onto buildings by bright headlights.

"I felt the music had a dark undertone and a sort of untouchable quality - it's difficult to pin down," Schiedon said. "I wanted to reflect that in the visual direction, which is moody and grainy, but also quite synthetic."

Fons Schiedon's music video for SBTRKT's track New Dorp. New York

About halfway through the three-and-a-half-minute animation, the animal's face is revealed to be covered in yellow and purple markings.

The creature ends up sat in the palm of a metallic hand – an image used on the artwork for SBTRKT's album Wonder Where We Land, from which the track is taken.

Fons Schiedon's music video for SBTRKT's track New Dorp. New York

"[The character] evolved out of the visual direction that SBTRKT has built over the years and takes it to an even more iconic level," said Schiedon.

The video's creation began with storyboarding and sketching, then these images were translated into the animation using softwares including Maya, StudioMax and AfterEffects.

Fons Schiedon's music video for SBTRKT's track New Dorp. New York

Wonder Where We Land is out now on SBTRKT's label Young Turks.


Project credits

Production Company: PostPanic
Director: Fons Schiedon
Producer: Liene Berina
Executive Producer: Ania Markham
Senior 3D: Floris Vos
Character Animator: Max Stoehr
Character Rigger: Bas Hesen
Character Modeller: Alex Doss
3D: Roman van der Haven, Fons Schiedon, Juri Agostinelli
Compositing: Fons Schiedon, Floris Vos
Technical Supervision: Ivor Goldberg, Jeroen Aerts